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Wolf range-- griddle, grill, or none of the above?

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jugo Jun 7, 2009 11:32 AM

We're working on a kitchen remodel and are likely going to purchase a Wolf range, probably 48" all gas version, though we haven't yet ruled out duel fuel, and 60" is still an outside possibility. I'm wondering what the collective chowhound experience is with griddles and grills on these ranges. It seems that most people I know who have them have tended to rarely use either of them, particularly the grill. From what I've gathered to date, it seems like clean up is a bear.

If you have had a built in griddle or grill on your range (particularly Wolf), have you enjoyed them? Are they difficult to clean up? Would you get it/them again?

A salesman at a local appliance store said his personal preference for configuration on a 48" Wolf range would be 4 burners and a double griddle, though I think I would want 6 burners, and either a grill or griddle. Thoughts?

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  1. s
    SOYLE RE: jugo Jun 7, 2009 11:43 AM

    HAVE A WOLF RANGE A 36. I WOULD SKIP THE GRIDDLE. IT IS HARD TO CLEAN UP AND SELDOM USE IT. I THINK YOU WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITH GRILL OR THE SIX BURNERS EVEN BETTER. DEFINITELY THE DUEL FUEL. LOVE IT.

    1. r
      rainey RE: jugo Jun 7, 2009 03:07 PM

      I love my dual fuel. Chose all burners. Haven't regretted it since I have a gas grill outside I can use all year long.

      I have been curious about the French top for more than a year but I don't think "curiosity" is the reason to make a major decision. I only have 36"; if I had 60" I'd explore the FT.

      1. b
        brumleycom RE: jugo Aug 20, 2009 08:42 AM

        I love my Wolf 48 with 24" center griddle. I use it all the time and wouldn't think about a grill. I have a large extended family and it really comes in handy. For our Christmas dinner, I seared 6 whole beef tenderloins on the griddle and finished in the oven. I made potatoes Lyonnais, zucchini and squash, seared scallops, all on the griddle. I could not have done it as quickly without the 24" griddle and the plus was no pans to wash. For me, 12" is too small for a griddle or grill. If I need to grill, I have a large grill on my deck. I have never needed more than the four burners if you use the griddle. It was by far the best decision I made for my kitchen.

        1 Reply
        1. re: brumleycom
          baldwinwood RE: brumleycom Aug 20, 2009 08:56 AM

          I have a 48 Wolf thats a great stove and i really love. I have six burners and the grill. I have used the grill once, to make naan. The clean up can be a real bear, but it performed well. As other have said, the grill(s) are right outside that are used all year long. Furthermore, when i grill i usually opt for my charcoal grill over the gas grill for a few different reasons. If i was remodeling my kitchen today, i would not get the grill. I would get eight burners or the french top.
          If you look into the french top, you might want to find out how long it takes to heat up. Best of luck!

        2. m
          moh RE: jugo Aug 20, 2009 09:00 AM

          We have the grill, and we don't use it all that often. The clean-up is a pain, and the grill smokes a lot. Any marinade, any overly fatty piece of food, and there is smoke everywhere, and our fumehood is not powerful enough to remove the smoke. We often set off our fire alarm, and it is a pain. We use it now and then, but I think if we had to do it over, we might not get the grill. Our initial thinking was that we could grill during the winter indoors. Also, we have a charcoal BBQ, not a gas grill, so we thought it might be a nice alternative. The Wolf grill does do a nice job with grilling food, but the other problems make it a PITA.

          1. f
            ferret RE: jugo Aug 20, 2009 09:27 AM

            I would never give up burners for either a grill or griddle. Large 2-burner griddles are readily available for the limited times you'd use them and easier to clean. Grilling indoors is always a compromise.

            http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

            1. c
              CharlieTheCook RE: jugo Aug 20, 2009 01:23 PM

              A true French top has variable heat across the surface allowing you to hold a delicate sauce in a bain-Marie in one spot and boil hard on another. You can do a whole lot more with one than make pancakes.

              1. t
                Td61 RE: jugo Aug 21, 2009 05:06 PM

                I have a 36" all burners.
                I'd skip the griddle and the grill.
                ferret is correct.

                1. b
                  biga290 RE: jugo Sep 2, 2009 01:45 PM

                  I have the 48" with 6 burners and the griddle. i use the griddle quite a bit and do not find the cleanup to be at all burdensome.

                  1. Beach Chick RE: jugo Sep 2, 2009 01:57 PM

                    I have the Wolf 48" with the 6 burners, double ovens and the griddle..never used the griddle..
                    I put a wood block chopping board, where the griddle is with all my oils, salts and peppers and it works well...
                    I need to test that bad boy griddle out..I heard it was a major pain in the ass to clean.

                    1. RetiredChef RE: jugo Oct 14, 2009 07:39 AM

                      I own a 48” with a grill (my second) and it can’t be beat. We use the grill 5-6 times a week, a highly versatile product and in reality how many times do you really need 8 burners. Besides I can put a pot on my grill and boil 6 qts of water if I need it.

                      The griddle is small and a double griddle, seriously, I guess if you plan on making lots of pancakes, other than that it’s really pretty useless, besides you can buy very nice, high quality aftermarket griddles for $70 ($120 for a double size one) that does the same thing. Why lock yourself into a product when you can have sitting in a cupboard for your once or twice a month use.

                      Back to the grill, with the addition of a smoker box and wood chips you have the ability to cook over real wood 365 days a year, besides grilled pizzas, pineapple kabobs, marking polenta, grilled romaine salad, etc, etc, etc, the versatility of this product is so great I cannot imagine buying a stove of this caliber without one.

                      Cleanup is simple, turn it on full, 10 minutes later hit it with a grill bush – twice a year lift of the grill, and the other parts and give it a deep cleaning. Very simple.

                      Cheers

                      PS I know at least 2 people like Beach Chick – they never use their griddles and wish they would have gotten a grill. I also know of NO grill owner who wished they had a griddle.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: RetiredChef
                        j
                        jagtsung RE: RetiredChef Dec 7, 2009 02:37 AM

                        How do you do the deep cleaning of the other parts of the grill? That's my project today and don't know where to start!

                        1. re: RetiredChef
                          a
                          atrast RE: RetiredChef Nov 26, 2012 12:20 PM

                          To RetiredChef.
                          I have the 48" rangetop with Chargrill and griddle. I love the griddle but I'm at a complete loss as to how to get the grill clean! The grid has caked on food/grease that I've been unable to remove with several cans of specialty grill cleaner. The stainless liner underneath that is partially clean but remains caked with baked-on greast. Underneath that is the area around the ceramic and I have found no way to get the surrounding area clean. Since I can no longer buy the brush-on Easy Off oven cleaner, I have no idea of how to get it clean. I would not buy the Chargrill option again for the cleaning problem only. It works very nicely but I can't take not having it clean. Thank goodness for the stainless covers!

                        2. c
                          catdoc46 RE: jugo Oct 1, 2011 05:37 PM

                          I skipped the grill/griddle option and chose a French top or plaque surface for my 48" wolf range. I use a well-seasoned cast iron griddle for pancakes. Steaks go on the grill or in a cast iron skillet, like Steak au Poivre.

                          If anyone is thinking about a French top, here's a good demo:

                          http://www.purcellmurray.com/blog/ind...

                          1. a
                            acgold7 RE: jugo Oct 3, 2011 06:26 PM

                            I got my Wolf way back in the old days, before the Sub-Zero buyout, when they were actual restaurant ranges that were retro-fitted for home use. I have a 60" with six burners, a raised broiler and a 24" griddle, and I have to say the griddle is indispensable to me. I use it all the time and cleanup is a snap. The broiler is the part I rarely use.

                            I use the griddle, not just for the stuff you'd normally think (i.e. big breakfast stuff like pancakes and french toast) but lots of other stuff as well. I haven't taken out my wok since I got the griddle, as it gets hotter, holds heat better and can handle much more food at a time. I can do teppanyaki better than Benihana. Grilled cheese for our kids and all their friends is a snap and last weekend we did three kinds of fajitas and fish tacos for a crowd with no fuss at all.

                            Cleanup takes about fifteen seconds with a wide putty knife.

                            If I had it to do over, the only thing I'd change is lose the raised broiler, as the griddle height is about six inches too high. But I'd have to buy another brand, I think, as Wolf doesn't make these styles anymore.

                            1. m
                              Mothership RE: jugo Oct 3, 2011 06:38 PM

                              I have 6 burners and the griddle. I use it all the time - searing meats, pancakes only occasionally, but I also use it to sear scallops, throw on some asparagus or other veg with just a little olive oil etc etc. The griddle can get some good heat going. Cleanup is a snap. When I grill, I always grill outside.

                              1. splatgirl RE: jugo Oct 3, 2011 08:03 PM

                                Grill, because it's an almost as good alternative to the outdoor grill when it's -30 with three feet of snow. I have a cover for mine so the salt cellar and pepper grinder can live on top when not in use. I really only clean the grates a couple of times a year--all that's ever on them is charred bits and those I scrape off and let burn just like on a regular grill. Beyond that, removing and washing the drip tray after use. Not a big deal.
                                A griddle is more easily improvised, and I prefer cast iron for that purpose anyway.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: splatgirl
                                  m
                                  munkdogg RE: splatgirl May 24, 2012 06:28 PM

                                  I'm curious; do you place the cast iron griddle over the charbroiler/grill or over the burners? Grill would seem better suited for more even heat distribution, but who knows :)

                                  1. re: munkdogg
                                    splatgirl RE: munkdogg May 27, 2012 06:46 AM

                                    I've never tried putting the griddle it on the grill section, but I'll give it a go next time. Interesting idea.

                                2. c
                                  catdoc46 RE: jugo Oct 5, 2011 08:55 AM

                                  I, too, recommend that you skip the grill and/or griddle. I would add the French top surface to their burners. I use my French top a great deal, especially when cooking multiple dishes (on simmer) at once.

                                  Sorry--gave my opinion twice! I must feel very strongly about this.

                                  1. m
                                    malibumike RE: jugo May 25, 2012 09:33 AM

                                    We have a Wolf 48" with 4 burners and they are more than enough for a single famly home, IMHO 6 burners is way overkill unless you are feeding an army. We have the griddle and grill and use them both, the grill especially when dark or cold out - they are both great.

                                    1. j
                                      jugo RE: jugo May 27, 2012 11:07 AM

                                      Update, a couple of years after my original post:

                                      We went with a 48" wolf, all gas, 6 burners and griddle. We love it. The griddle gets moderate use, though I could easily see that increasing once/if our family expands to include some little ones. It is great for pancakes, french toast, panini, quesadillas, searing meat. I don't do bacon on it, as I've discovered the wonders of doing bacon in the oven. I don't find it difficult to clean. In fact, I find it much easier to scrape down and wipe than it is to clean my heavy cast iron griddle that spans two burners. And the built-in griddle heats much more evenly than the stovetop one.The 6 burners are probably overkill-- I think I've used all 6 only a couple of times in 2 years, and five of them only a handful or two times. We could certainly live with 4. If so, then what to do with the extra 12"? I don't think I would do the grill. We have a great hood, but it's loud, and if I forget to start before doing something smoke-making our fire alarms are certain to go off. And we have a grill that is just steps away outside that we can use most of the year. At this point, i would do either 4 burners and a mega 24" griddle or what we have now: 6 burners and a 12" griddle.

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